Do you remember this animated version of The Pied Piper?
December 4, 2007 7:09 AM   Subscribe

Sometime in the 80s, I remember seeing what I think was an adaptation of the Pied Piper on Nickelodeon, but it doesn't seem to be any of the ones listed on the IMDB or Wikipedia. Maybe you remember? Details inside...


-It was animated, and I remember it being feature length.

-It was primarily a comedy.

-The animation style was very flat, possibly involving cut outs. It had lots of primary colors and very simplistic backgrounds. The character designs were very simple and cartoony, a bit like Ed Emberley's drawings.

-There are two characters that I don't think are usually in the story. One was a Princess who was very much not the traditional fairy tale princess (she was outspoken and take charge, and didn't defer to the piper/hero). The other was a version of the devil. He had a punning name along the lines of B. L. ZeBub or B.L. Zeebob.

-It was a musical. One of the piper's song had lyrics along the lines of:

I am the piper
And my father's son,
And I am the one
To do what must be done!
I am the one!
Willy-nilly, willy-nilly
I am the one!

-I think title cards (like in a silent movie) were occasionally thrown up on the screen. I remember one that said something like "And now Mr. Zeebub is going to sing a nasty song! Cover your ears!"

-The voice actors were British.

None of these details have brought anything back on Google, probably because I'm just off enough on the exact wording, etc. for it to matter.
posted by Lentrohamsanin to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
I have not seen this musical; however, it sounds like it could be a British adaptation of Terry Pratchett's "The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents", which has the princess-type character. I don't remember a devil, specifically, but there is a very nasty villain.

Plot synopsis: intelligent rats pull a scam by "taking over" cities, musically-talented-but-otherwise-dim boy comes in and earns money by piping to get rid of them, they go along to the next city, and take their cut in the form of cheese and food stuffs. The "princess" character you mention is a smart, rather dramatic girl with grandiose ideas of her own self-importance, who figures out the scam. The "Maurice" in the title is not the Piper but the rather sneaky cat who came up with the scheme...look, it makes sense when he tells it.
posted by misha at 8:46 AM on December 4, 2007

A good thought, but this would have predated the Pratchett book by about 15-20 years.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:57 AM on December 4, 2007

Whoops. And it's not even early in the morning. Sorry about missing the very-obvious date stamp in the thread. Doh.
posted by misha at 11:24 AM on December 4, 2007

File this response under "Really Not Helpful at All" but I have a videotape of some old Nickelodeon shows that has a commercial for that on it. I know exactly what you're talking about.

But the tape is many, many, many miles away, and I have no idea what it's called.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:24 AM on December 4, 2007

SpiffyRob, that at least reassures me that I didn't dream or hallucinate that this thing existed.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:27 AM on December 4, 2007

Abra Cadabra! Starring Abra Cadabra (the piper), B. L. Z'Bub, and Primrose Buttercup!

This gem of a film aired on Nickelodeon's "Special Delivery" several times in the mid-1980's. I almost passed on seeing it because of the strange animation style (no inking!). It came on before I changed the channel, and when I heard the third verse of the opening song ("on the third day of Matter He structured DNA! Deoxyribonucleic Acid, and He said, "What a very nice day!"), I just *had* to watch it. The musical rewrites are wonderful (I still don't know all the original tunes) and the plot line is wonderfully silly. I believe that this is one of the most wonderfully bizarre movies I have ever seen!

The story is basically "The Pied Piper of Hamlin", but there's some science fiction thrown in for good measure.

posted by iconomy at 11:48 AM on December 4, 2007

That's totally it iconomy. Thank you!

(Grrr, looks like it hasn't had a proper video release. Off I go to the darker corners of the internet...)
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:05 PM on December 4, 2007

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